A couple interesting observations. One, except for Newt, no one would go on the record.
Two, why it was so important that Ds not put up a Social Security Plan.
Here's the crux,
In discussing the White House's problems, Republicans cited a variety of assumptions and decisions that have not worked out as Mr. Bush and his team had planned. They said the administration may have overestimated how much of a mandate Mr. Bush had coming out of last year's campaign, underestimated the willingness of the Democrats to stand up to him and relied too much on a belief that he could force Congress into action by taking his case directly to the people.As I've observed many times before, they don't even begin to know how to lead. They only know attack. Hence Rove's recent remarks.
They said a degree of difficulty was to be expected, given the scope of Mr. Bush's second-term ambitions. At the same time, they said, Mr. Bush and his team are struggling with a problem they never had during the campaign: with no high-profile political opponent as a foil, and with Democrats refusing to put forward competing proposals on issues like Social Security, the president and his policies stand on their own, with nothing to deflect partisan fire.
Should Mr. Bush have a Supreme Court vacancy to fill - a possibility that could present itself as early as Monday - it could further inflame partisan passions and complicate the prospects for the rest of his agenda, including his push for major new energy and trade legislation this summer, members of each party said.
"They thought because they had slain the Kerry dragon they could claim a mandate and do what they wanted to," said one prominent Republican in Washington, who insisted on anonymity to speak candidly about what some see as the administration's miscalculations. "Now they have to sell things, whether it's Iraq or stem cells or John Bolton - let alone Social Security - on their own merits."